Longest rivers of the United Kingdom

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The Severn Bridges crossing near the mouth of the River Severn.
The River Thames in London.
The River Tay in Perth, by measured flow the largest in Great Britain.

This is a list of the longest rivers of the United Kingdom.

Longest rivers of the United Kingdom[edit]

Rank River Length (miles) Length (km) Country
1 River Severn[1] 220 354 Wales/England
2 River Thames[1] 215 346 England
3 River Trent[1] 185 297 England
4 River Great Ouse[1] 143 230 England
5 River Wye[1] 134 215 Wales/England
6 River Ure/River Ouse, Yorkshire 129 208 England
7 River Tay[1] 117 188 Scotland
8 River Clyde 109 176 Scotland
9 River Spey 107 172 Scotland
10 River Nene[1] 100 161 England
11 River Bann / Lough Neagh 99 159 Northern Ireland
12 River Tweed[1] 96 155 Scotland/England
13 River Avon, Warwickshire 96 154 England
14 River Eden, Cumbria 90 145 England
15 River Dee, Aberdeenshire 87 140 Scotland
16 River Witham 82 132 England
17 River Teme 81 130 Wales/England
18= River Don, Aberdeenshire[1] 80 129 Scotland
18= River Foyle 80 129 Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland
20= River Teifi[2] 75 122 Wales
20= River Towy 75 121 Wales
20= River Ribble 75 120 England
20= River Avon, Bristol 75 120 England
24 River Tyne[1] 73 118 England
25 River Derwent, Yorkshire 72 115 England
26= River Aire 71 114 England
26= River Nith 71 114 Scotland
28= River Tees 70 113 England
28= River Medway 70 113 England
28= River Mersey 70 113 England
31= River Dee, Wales[1] 70 112 Wales/England
31= River Don, South Yorkshire 70 112 England

There seems to be little consensus in published sources as to the lengths of rivers, nor much agreement as to what constitutes a river. Thus the River Ure and River Ouse can be counted as one river system or as two rivers. If it is counted as one, the River Aire/ River Ouse/Humber system would come fourth in the list, with a combined length of 161 miles (259 km); and the River Trent/Humber system would top the list with their combined length of 222 mi (357 km).[3] Also, the Thames tributary, the River Churn, sourced at Seven Springs, adds 14 miles to the length of the Thames (from its traditional source at Thames Head). The Churn/Thames' length at 229 mi (369 km) is therefore greater than the Severn's length of 220 mi (354 km). Thus, the combined Churn/Thames river would top the list. Sue Owen et al., in their book on rivers, generally restrict the length to the parts that bear the same name. Thus the River Nene is quoted at 100 miles (160 km), but would be around 5 miles (8.0 km) more if the variously named sources were included. Many of the above lengths are considerably different from Sue Owen's list, some longer and some shorter.[1]

Where a river ends in an estuary the conventional British approach has been to treat the river as ending at the end of the administrative zone. Thus the Severn ends at the mouth of the Bristol Avon and the Thames at the Yantlet Line. The currently accepted end of the Severn Estuary is about 18.5 miles (29.8 km) further, and the PLA's authority stretches now to Margate, 30 miles (48 km) further. Other countries have different conventions, making comparisons of limited value.

See also[edit]